My husband has quite ordering lasagna in a restaurant because he likes mine so well no others measure up. I take that as a very high compliment. I remember the first time I served it to him. His eyes lit up, he took another bite, and said something like, “I’ve never had lasagna like this before.”
Let me back up; until our close friends moved out-of-state we spent Christmas eve at their house. M.H. is Italian and she served lasagna for dinner. It consisted of four layers of noodles, barely enough sauce to turn the dish red and minute pieces of burger, in the middle only, with some mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top. I’m sorry, in my opinion, it wasn’t worth eating.
I’m not Italian, and I like my lasagna to be a hearty meal. I make a dense meat and tomato sauce with lots of onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, oregano and other spices. Then I mix ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, eggs, garlic, pepper and oregano into a thick paste in another bowl. Least important are the noodles, which I don’t cook first. I use a turkey roasting pan to layer my ingredients in because if I use a cake or casserole pan, it boils over while baking. The meat sauce comes first, then a layer of noodles, and third, a layer of the cheese mixture. I repeat the process, then add one more layer of noodles, more meat sauce and finish the top with just mozzarella cheese. I cover the pan and bake about 40 minutes, then take the cover off for the last 15 minutes to lightly brown the cheese. Delish! Even better the next day.
When I serve lasagna, I put it together the day before and let it sit in the fridge all night, then bake it so it is bubbly hot when we want to eat. I won’t include a recipe as I am a “throw it in the pan” type cook, and make a rather large amount when I do it. Now that I have written this, lasagna will be on my mind until I have it. I guess I know what I’m making for our family dinner day next month.